Officials at the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority and WANE TV are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s “Home for the Holidays” contest. Entries were submitted via short essay explaining why the soldier deserves a trip home this holiday season. The contest typically awards one soldier a roundtrip flight home from anywhere in the world but due to the overwhelming deservedness of the top two entries, two soldiers will be flying home this year.
Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Petty Officer Roger Jones has been in the United States Navy for three years. He is currently stationed in Spain. Jones’ father, who was also in the Navy, passed away unexpectedly about one year ago. Jones’ sister said in her entry, “It devastated us all. We have been lost without him but my mother even more so, especially with my brother being stationed in Spain. My brother is a hard worker and would do anything for his country.”
Senior Airman Brandon Freon has been in the United States Air Force for seven years. For the last four years, he has been stationed at Royal Air Force Base Mendenhall in the United Kingdom. During those four years, he has not had the chance to return home for Thanksgiving or Christmas due to military and financial circumstances. Freon has a wife and three-year old son in Fort Wayne and another child on the way. He is a 2007 Northrop High School graduate.
“It was a very tough decision this year. We would fly all the contestants home if we could,” said Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority. “These two men have dedicated themselves to our country and deserve to spend time with their families over the holidays, without worrying about the financial implications.”
Freon will be arriving to FWA on Monday, December 14 at approximately 11:10 p.m. Jones will be arriving to FWA on Wednesday, December 23 at approximately 11:10 p.m. Both soldiers will be arriving via American Airlines.
About Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority was created in 1985 and is responsible for managing Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) and Smith Field Airport. The airport authority is governed by a six-member board appointed by the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. Serving northeast Indiana and the surrounding region, FWA offers nonstop service to 12 cities on four airlines. In 2014, FWA served 643,887 passengers – an 8.5% increase over 2013. For more information about the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, visit www.FWAirport.com.